We chose this cruise as we have already sailed on the Oceania line (Riviera). An added bonus was the fact that the departure port was in our home city of Cape Town. We also wanted a longer cruise and 30 days was wonderful.
The Nautica was an ideal size with only about 600 passengers and there was never any inconvenience when trying to dine in any of the restaurants. The food was really good and varied and I never heard any complaints from any other diners. We had a change in Executive Chef mid way through the cruise and I have to say that, whilst the previous Exec Chef was great, we noticed an added standard of excellence when Chef Gary Potiphar took over.
Compliments to all of the staff involved for the most amazing Christmas decorations. They were beautiful. The Xmas and New Year festivities were totally celebrated and there was a lovely spirit of friendship and goodwill all over.
The Cruise Director, Ray Carr, was outstanding. A man with a great sense of humour and a very good rapport with his staff. We didn't attend any of the evening shows but those who did said they were very good.
The ports along the coast of Africa were 'ok'. I feel that Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, and Richards Bay could have been avoided altogether and more time spent possibly in the Seychelles. A pity we had to miss Madagascar due to the plague there. We were notified of this well in advance of sailing and it crossed my mind that we could possibly have taken in Mauritius instead of having the couple of extra sea days.
We took none of the ships' tours as they are vastly overpriced. Mainly we took advantage of Tours by Locals.
We would certainly travel on the Nautica again were we to find an itinerary that suits us.
We were delighted to be able to get a PH for this 30 day cruise. The stateroom was spacious, the bed amazingly comfortable, the balcony was large, and the beautiful fresh orchid was beautiful. People who were not so fortunate had to make do with a very small bathroom and the outdated plastic curtain in the small shower. The main inconvenience for us was that the PH showers are in the bath and my 83 year old husband found it very difficult climbing in and out of the bath when we had sea days. However, that inconvenience was way better than the already mentioned bathrooms. The stateroom came with a butler, Francis. He was very dignified and willing to assist but we actually had no need of him and would much rather not have had to try and find things for him to do in order to satisfy his desire to be of assistance and justify the extra tip we had to pay for this 'privilege'. It is a shame that there is no option.